Latest Update AUG2018
Now restored awaiting re-alignment of
some areas of track, before testing for Boiler & steam certificates
Wf 403 was built in 1907
at the Hillside Workshops in Dunedin
and operated in Dunedin and the West
Coast of the South Island. It is the
same type that operated on the old
Nelson - Glenhope line
that closed in the mid 1950's.
"403" was taken out of service in the late 1960's and moved
to Nelson in
1973 by the Nelson City Council.
There are only three
of these engines left in New Zealand and
Wf403 is the only one that is undergoing
It entered the Nelson
Railway workshop on 29th November 2000
to start the major rebuild.
When completed it will be the pride and
joy for many to see and enjoy, this
grand old lady is 102 years old!.
Nelson, New Zealand was once the home to
four Wf Locomotives
so '403' is very special!
Wf403 restoration photos
(Click on the
thumbnails, images may take a while to load)
First to be
removed was the coal bunker, cab and
rusted out water tanks. When this
was completed the cab floor was
removed and then the process of
removing and cleaning away years of
rust and grime began!
The next process was to remove all
the brake rods, shoes etc.
Cleaning the chassis down exposed a
crack right through which meant
straightening of the chassis and
Our next job was to jack the chassis
up and remove the wheel sets. The
bearings were next in line for a
rebuild which required many hours of
building up the bronzes and
machining to size. After all this a
start was made to re-assemble the
chassis first, then a new cab floor
was laid and welded into place,
followed by the bearings fitted to
the driving wheels. In turn these
were placed back in the frame. Now
the valve gear was attended to along
with the pistons followed by the
side rods being fitted.
The old water side tanks were beyond
repair and new tanks were made - a
When the tanks were completed they
were sandblasted, painted and
installed on the engine along with
A new smoke box has been fabricated
and all fittings attached. Many
other parts have been restored ready
to fit when the boiler is repaired.
Up to this point the work on the
engine is mostly done. All work on
getting the engine to this stage has
been done in our own workshop, the
only grants being for the supply and
rolling plate for the water tanks
plus the smoke box.
All work has been carried out by
volunteers, no paid staff!
The boiler was replaced in 1926 to a
superheated version. By the time the
locomotive was taken out of service
the inner firebox was burnt out.
This has meant we have to replace
the firebox along with new tubes and
front tube plate.
We have spent may hours cleaning the
scale etc from the inside. Wf403 now
awaits the repair of the boiler to
complete this restoration.